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The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari SummaryA Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams and Reaching Your Destiny

The life you’re living is probably not the life you’ve dreamed about. Robin Sharma believes that he can help you finally start living it. By telling you an unassuming business fable about “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari.”

Who Should Read “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari”? And Why?

Remember that great Elvis album “50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong”? Unfortunately, the world of books isn’t as big a deal as the world of music. But, we’re sure that you can say pretty much the same when a book sells more than 1,000,000 copies.

So, let us rephrase the original statement so you can catch our drift.

Fifteen Million Robin Sharma Fans Can’t Be Wrong!

That’s right! And most of them are, in fact, fans of “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” and its companion volumes! Yes – that’s how significant this book is in the world of self-help books.

So, if you are a fan of self-help books, it’s an understatement to say that you’re going to like “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari.” The chances are – you’re going to love it and buy it as a gift for at least few other people. If you’re into Zen and Eastern mysticism – you’ll love it even more.

However, if you really want an answer to the question of the title, then here it is: this book is about workaholics. Robin Sharma was one – and he realized that he was on the wrong path. The sooner you realize this too – the better.

And this book may be the best way to do it.

About Robin Sharma

Robin SharmaRobin Sharma is a Canadian motivational speaker and writer, considered one of the world’s top 10 leadership gurus for about two decades.

He rose to prominence in 1997 after self-publishing “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari,” which was followed by dozen more books, half of which are related to it: “Leadership Wisdom from the Monk Who Sold His Ferrari,” “Who Will Cry When You Die,” “Family Wisdom from the Monk Who Sold His Ferrari,” “Discover Your Destiny with the Monk Who Sold His Ferrari,” “Daily Inspiration from the Monk Who Sold His Ferrari,” and “The Secret Letters of the Monk Who Sold His Ferrari.”

His other books include “The Saint, the Surfer, and the CEO” and “The Leader Who Had No Title.”

“The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari Summary”

There’s a reason why we included “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” both among our top motivational and top inspiring books in history.

Simply put, the book can change your life.

It is a business fable – you certainly remember the genre – about Julian Mantle, a semi-autobiographical version of Robin Sharma himself. A Harvard graduate, he is living in a mansion, driving a Ferrari and making millions of dollars on a yearly basis.

However, he’s not happy.

The work is too stressful, and he doesn’t have the time to enjoy its benefits. One day, the pressure gets the better of him, and Julian Mantle suffers a heartache, collapsing in a courtroom.

But after his recovery, he doesn’t return to practicing law. Instead – he simply disappears. Three years later, he shows up unannounced at his best friend and former colleague John’s office.

And he tells his story.

John discovers that Mantle had sold his mansion and his Ferrari in order to spend his time traveling throughout India. There he learned of the fabled Great Sages of Sivana, who he eventually found in the Himalayas.

Using a mystical fable about a sumo wrestler in a green garden, one of them, Yogi Raman, taught him the seven virtues of the Sivana System.

And here’s how the story goes.

the monk who sold his ferrari pdf

It begins with you in a gorgeous green garden. Everything is silent and tranquil around you. Many-colored flowers are blooming in the garden, making the sight as beautiful as anyone a man has set his eyes upon.

In the center of this garden, you notice a red lighthouse, as high as six stories. Its towering presence captivates you – but only for a while.

Because suddenly, at the base of this lighthouse, you hear the loud creaking of a door. And a 9-foot tall sumo wrestler weighing over 900 pounds strides rowdily inside your quiet, beautiful garden!

You cast your eyes upon him: he is a sight to see! Not only because he is an enormous creature, but also because he is totally naked. The only thing on him is a pink wire cable to cover his private parts.

Now, the Japanese sumo wrestler starts wandering about the garden and, to your amazement, he happens upon a shiny gold watch.

Probably a remnant of some previous times. He looks at it curiously – and then slips it on his hand. The most amazing thing happens: he falls unconscious to the ground!

You are all but ready to rush and see if he’s still alive when you notice that his nostrils are moving. That’s right – he is about to wake up.

You notice that the thing that made him is the fragrance of the yellow roses surrounding him!

The sumo wrestler is all of a sudden filled with voracious and seemingly boundless energy.

He looks to his right – there’s nothing there; then, he looks to his left – and, to his and your amazement – he notices a path covered with millions and millions of sparkling diamonds.

Something makes him takes this path. And something tells you that it is the path which will lead him to eternal bliss and everlasting joy.

That’s it.

You just heard the most important story you’ll ever hear.

Didn’t understand a word of it?

Of course, you didn’t. But, that’s why we are here to reveal you the seven meanings of this story. Which, incidentally, are also the seven key lessons you should take away from “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari.”

Key Lessons from “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari”

1.      The Garden Is Your Mind: Cultivate It
2.      The Lighthouse Shows You the Way: Live a Purpose-Driven Life
3.      The Sumo Wrestler Reminds You of Self-Improvement: Practice the Ancient Japanese Art of Kaizen
4.      The Pink Wire Cable Represents Discipline: Be Disciplined
5.      The Golden Watch Says: Respect Your Time
6.      Smell the Yellow Roses And Serve Others Selflessly
7.      Walk the Path of Diamonds: Live in the Present Moment

The Garden Is Your Mind: Cultivate It

The garden is a symbol of your mind.

Learning how to control your mind is the foundational virtue of the Sivana System. A nice way to understand what this means is to think of your mind as if it is a garden; and thinking of your consciousness as its keeper.

Protecting the garden from bugs and beasts means protecting it from negative thoughts.

Start by practicing the art of concentration. Take a rose, focus on it and try to enjoy its beauty. Each day, spend a few minutes more doing this. In time, you’ll discipline your mind, and you’ll be able to block all distractions.

The Lighthouse Shows You the Way: Live a Purpose-Driven Life

The Lighthouse is a symbol of your goal.

The Sanskrit word for purpose is complex: it’s “dharma,” and it actually means so much more. The basic premise is that you have a mission here on this planet; and that it’s your duty to fulfill it.

There’s a 5-step method to do this.

First of all, visualize the outcome. Secondly, put pressure on yourself – but in a good way; for example, tell others of your plan or do it for some charity. Next, create a timeline. The fourth step is the Magic Rule of 21: that’s how many days you need to create a new habit.

Last but not least: enjoy yourself!

The Sumo Wrestler Reminds You of Self-Improvement: Practice the Ancient Japanese Art of Kaizen

The Sumo Wrestler is a metaphor of the ancient Japanese techniques for self-improvement.

In Japanese, “Kaizen” means “continuous improvement.” And, in order to relate the concept to Julian Mantle, Yogi Raman teaches him the Ten Rituals of Radiant Leaving.

The first is the Ritual of Solitude, i.e., learning to be alone. The Ritual of Physicality is the second one: move your body. The Ritual of Live Nourishment means following a vegetarian diet. The fourth ritual, the Ritual of Abundant Knowledge can be best summed up as “learn every day a new thing.” The fifth is the Ritual of Personal Reflection. Meaning: just like Benjamin Franklin, ask yourself before going to sleep whether you’ve done something good that day.

The sixth ritual is the Ritual of Early Awakening: you don’t need more than six hours of sleep. But, you do need beautiful melodies – which is the seventh, ritual, the Ritual of Music. The Ritual of the Spoken Word is the eight one. This one’s about mantras. The penultimate ritual is the Ritual of the Congruent Character: be consistent and follow your principles at all times.

Finally, the Ritual of Simplicity: live your life as simply as possible.

The Pink Wire Cable Represents Discipline: Be Disciplined

The pink wire cable represents boundaries. You should always have some. But, the magic is – to decide them for yourself.

Because strict self-discipline has immense power.

Yogi Raman suggests Julian that he starts acquiring it by taking the vow of silence. If you can manage to keep it for a certain period of time, you’ll know that you have control over yourself.

The Golden Watch Says: Respect Your Time

Next, the golden watch is a symbol of time. If you don’t take it into account, it may put you in a state of eternal sleep.

Now, you’d think that if you’re living in the Himalayas, you wouldn’t need to worry about things such as time management.

Guess again: one of the Sages’ daily practices is spending the last 15 minutes of a day to plan the next one. And they are ruthless when it comes to time: they want to waste none of it.

Because, after all, you wouldn’t want to sleep a second of the day if you know that this day is the last one you’ll ever spend on this planet. Well, consider this: you won’t live forever.

So it’s time to plan your time.

Smell the Yellow Roses And Serve Others Selflessly

The fragrance of the yellow roses is the fragrance of kindness and selflessness.

You are not an island: you are a part of humanity. That’s why it’s your duty to help others when in need. And as the Dalai Lama explains in his book “The Art of Happiness,” serving selflessly is not good only for those around you; it’s good for yourself as well.

Walk the Path of Diamonds: Live in the Present Moment

The seventh and final virtue: living in the now. Because that’s where the path of diamonds will lead you.

And because, after all, that’s everything that you have at any given moment.

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“The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” Quotes

Life has bigger plans for you than you can possibly know. Click To Tweet In order to awaken your best life, it’s important that you ‘die while you are alive.’ Most people live as if they have all the time in the world. They wish they had more time in their days and yet they waste the time they have. Click To Tweet Remarkable people are priority-driven. This is the secret of time mastery. Build your days around your priorities and you will play in rare air. Click To Tweet Act as if failure is impossible, and your success will be assured. Wipe out every thought of not achieving your objectives, whether they are material or spiritual. Click To Tweet A burning sense of passion is the most potent fuel for your dreams. Click To Tweet It’s better to be a lion for a day than a sheep all your life. Click To Tweet If you want to improve your life and live with all that you deserve, you must run your own race. It doesn’t matter what other people say about you. What is important is what you say to yourself, being comfortable in your own skin. Be true… Click To Tweet To risk is to live. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

When it first appeared in 1997, “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” became an instant success. It sold more than a million copies almost right away and inspired many people to follow the path of its author: sell their Ferraris and exchange their mansions for few peaceful moments.

No wonder that the reviews were raving!

“A captivating story that teaches as it delights,” wrote Paulo Coelho, one of the fundamental writers when it comes to inspiring stories. “Nothing less than sensational. This book will bless your life.” – added Mark Victor Hansen, coauthor of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series.

Elaine St. James, author of “Inner Spirituality” and “Simplify Your Life” was even more impressed: “Robin Sharma has created an enchanting tale that incorporates the classic tools of transformation into a simple philosophy of living,” she wrote. “A delightful book that will change your life,” James concluded afterward.

And she may be onto something: many people claim that “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” really had such an effect on their lives.

It’s easy to see why: it’s a simple, easy-to-read manual for life of no more than seven steps. And it’s wrapped up in a sugary-flavored coating of a story which is both mystical and enchanting. Not to mention – memorable!

And maybe that’s the best part of it: you can always go back to the story when you forget some of the advice. And just extracting a zip file, the story will help you decompress the whole wisdom of the book!

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Top Motivational Books

We’ve already made two lists which people interested in this one will certainly like to check out: top mindfulness books and top inspiring books. In fact, some may say that we made this list merely to add few books which we didn’t have the chance to include in these two.

And, if we’re perfectly honest, they may be right. But, who cares?

In a world of so many crises and misfortunes, so much suffering and put-me-down people, motivation and inspiration are two things all of us need on a daily basis. And even if we repeat ourselves, we know how helpful these books can be. And, we tend to recommend them to you as many times as necessary.

Because, you see, we know that they can inspire you to change your life. And there’s nothing we’re more interested in than seeing you happy.

So, here are our picks for the 15 top motivational books out there.

#1. “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” by Daniel H. Pink

Daniel H. PinkDrive Summary is a behavioral scientist and one of the most provocative thinkers of our age. And “Drive” is his best-known and already classic study in the topic which interests us most for this list.

Throughout the book, Pink challenges the conventional idea that motivation stems from external impulses, such as money or rewards and punishments. Through numerous examples, he demonstrates that while this might be true – and mostly in the case of mechanical jobs – it is only true to a certain extent.

However, “artists, scientists, inventors, schoolchildren, and the rest of us” are evidence to the even counter-intuitive notion that money and rewards may have a detrimental effect on our motivation. In other words, in their case, motivation is something intrinsic.

Or, to put it in laymen’s terms, we want to do stuff simply because we want to do it. And because one of the most typical human characteristics is an innate love for autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

#2. “As a Man Thinketh” by James Allen

James AllenAs a Man Thinketh Summary died more than a century ago. So, if we’re including him in our list, you are pretty safe in assuming that motivational books today would have been a lot different had he not existed.

Allen’s 1902 classic “As a Man Thinketh” is oftentimes referred to as “the original bestseller.” Quite a burden to carry, but it seems as if the book has no problem bearing it. In fact, it’s still widely read and it has inspired so many motivational authors that it’s impossible to even list them here.

It’s quite easy to relate the philosophy behind “As a Man Thinketh.” Based on the idea that every man has a substantial – if not total – responsibility for the events that happen to him during his life, it offers practical advice on how you can improve yourself and, consequently, improve your fate.

What is difficult is to speak about James Allen’s style. Sometimes epigrammatic and sometimes even biblical, you can be sure that it will strike a chord deep within your heart and soul.

#3. “Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead” by Brené Brown

Rising Strong SummaryIn the world of motivational thinkers, Brené Brown is all but a legend.

To quote some of the reviews, “with a fresh perspective that marries research and humor,” she has “given us a new vocabulary, a way to talk with each other about the ideas and feelings and fears we’ve all had but haven’t quite known how to articulate.”

“Rising Strong” is her call for “a critical mass of badasses who are willing to dare, fall, feel their way through tough emotion, and rise again.” And the rising process she suggests is a simple 3R procedure. First, you reckon with your emotions; then you rumble with your stories; and, finally, you revolutionize your existence.

Trust Brown: stories have an immense power to help us fight through traumas. Just have a look at our top biographies booklist: one of those books has helped a girl conquer rape and racism. And become one of the most famous poets of the 20th century.

#4. “You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” by Jen Sincero

You Are a Badass SummaryIf Brown wanted a little help from the badasses of the world to help you become one yourself, she couldn’t have found a better assistant than Jen Sincero. A #1 New York Times bestselling author, Sincero is a motivational coach who has helped numerous people worldwide transform their lives and finally experience happiness.

And “You Are a Badass” was her debut book, followed by a more recent companion volume, “You Are a Badass at Making Money.” Both will motivate you to start achieving your dreams, but, we believe, the first one a bit more thoroughly.

Hilarious and inspiring, “You Are a Badass’ is a 250-page tour-de-force of inspiration, shared out in 5 parts and 27 chapters. Through quite a few inspiring stories, wise advices and simple exercises, Sincero goes on a mission to teach you “how you got this way,” “how to embrace your inner badass,” “how to tap into the motherlode,” and “how to get over your b.s. already.”

You know, the lot which will help you learn “how to kick some ass.”

#5. “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” by Angela Duckworth

Grit SummaryAnd one more book about falling seven times, and getting up eight. And just like in the case of #3, this one is also written by a Ph.D.

Angela Duckworth is not your ordinary fellow. She is University of Pennsylvania’s Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Psychology and a 2013 MacArthur Genius Fellowship awardee. And, need we add, she is a regular speaker at many conferences and Fortune 500 companies’ meetups, in addition to advising few NFL and NBA teams.

But, why are her studies so interesting to so many important and prosperous people?

Well, because she claims that talent is only one part of the equation for success. Moreover, it may even be the least important part. As she repeatedly shows in “Grit,” the ones who succeed are rarely the ones who are the best.

It’s the ones who are the grittiest. Or, to clarify it a bit, the ones with the passion and the perseverance to succeed.

#6. “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson

Who Moved My Cheese SummaryEven though it’s not exactly true, Spencer Johnson’s “Who Moved My Cheese?” is widely considered to have been the first motivational business fable. And that speaks volumes of its influence and the impact it had both on many motivational authors and people searching for some motivation.

A very short 32-page barely illustrated story, “Who Moved My Cheese?” tells the story of two mice (Sniff and Scurry) and two little people (Hem and Haw). They live in a maze and are in a constant pursuit for cheese. After they find a whole bunch of it, the little people seem quite content with the discovery, while the mice are already thinking about the day they’ll have none.

Sure enough, that day comes. And the little people have no choice but to learn how to deal with the scarcity of food. One of them deals with it better. And tries to motivate the other.

And, much more importantly, by way of proxy, you.

#7. “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch

The Last Lecture SummaryWhat if you suddenly find out that you have barely few months left to live on this planet? We know what you’re thinking: there are so many things I’d do, so many dreams I have yet to achieve. Well, what’s stopping you know?

In a nutshell, that’s the question Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, thinks is the most important one you can ask yourself. And the question he tried to answer in a one-hour talk he gave before a packed audience, merely 8 months before he passed away.

And, in case you’re wondering: yes, Pausch knew he was going to die when he was giving that speech. In fact, that’s what makes his lesson both so poignant and so motivating. Just seeing his cheerfulness in face of the ultimate adversity may be enough.

Well, “The Last Lecture,” written over the last months of his life, packs this sentiment in the best way possible. It’s so good, in fact, that we can honestly say to you this: if Pausch can’t motivate you to start achieving your dreams, well, we don’t know who can.

#8. “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff . . . and It’s All Small Stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things from Taking Over Your Life” by Richard Carlson

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff SummaryA famous Russian writer once said that he writes his stories in order to show that there are some big things in life which people think small; and, that there are some small things which people confuse for big.

Richard Carlson, a renowned psychotherapist and motivational speaker, spent almost all of his (unfortunately short) life studying the latter. One of the most famous stress management trainers in the U.S., he successfully summarized his philosophy in the trademarked title of his most famous book: “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… and It’s All Small Stuff.”

Profoundly believing that “stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness,” Carlson goes on to show how important is to calm down and chill out; and how you can’t start before eliminating “the noise in the system.”

True, the idea is simple, but so is Carlson’s style. Which makes both for an enjoyable and an inspiring read.

#9. “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams & Reaching Your Destiny” by Robin Sharma

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari SummaryHappiness is not something material. And yet, strangely enough, most people believe that only material things can help you achieve it.

But, take a lesson from Robin Sharma’s book. A litigation lawyer until 25, he gave up his career to write motivational books. Because, he suddenly realized that law is not his cup of tea, and that self-perfection is something everybody should pursue – even though very few people actually do.

In a novelistic fashion, “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari,” retells the story of Sharma’s personal transformation. A motivational fable, it’s a conversation between two friends, Julian and John, during which the first one, a successful trial lawyer, recounts to the second one how he sold his Ferrari and his holiday home after suffering a heart attack.

And how that decision was the best in his life, because it funded a Himalayan journey which will, ultimately, change his whole perception about himself – and life itself.

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#10. “Choose Yourself: Be Happy, Make Millions, Live the Dream” by James Altucher

Choose Yourself SummaryWe have had a great relationship with James Altucher right from the start of getnugget.co. We’ve learned quite a few things from him just after meeting him, and you could say that, in time, he became a sort of a mentor to us.

But, still, nobody can blame us for nepotism for including his 2013 “Choose Yourself” in a list of the 15 best motivational books of all time. After all, we’ve passed on the opportunity to include it among our top business books, even though “USA Today” called it one of the 12 best business books in history.

Rife with interviews and life lessons, “Choose Yourself” is one of the best self-improvement and motivational books you’d ever read. The basic premise is, once again, quite simple (just see the title), but the way it’s related and the sheer force of the arguments is compelling.

Because, as Altucher says, if there ever was a time in history when you could choose yourself – that time is today.

#11. “The Power of Positive Thinking” by Norman Vincent Peale

Norman Vincent PealeThe Power of Positive Thinking Summary is one of the fathers – nay, grandfathers – of motivational writing. And there are so many people who have listed “The Power of Positive Thinking” as a defining influence in their lives that’s really impossible to ignore it.

Published in 1952, “The Power of Positive Thinking” is, in a way, the book which first structured the philosophy which brought us books such as, say, “The Secret,” and, which is most succinctly presented in its very title.

Unlike James Allen, Norman Vincent Peale doesn’t believe that you can control the things that happen to you. However, just like him, he believes that you can control your reactions to these happenings. And if you’re reacting in a positive manner, you can be certain that you can expect a more positive outcome.

In addition, the book is much more than a theoretical analysis; it’s also a list of practical ideas which can help you transform your negative thoughts into positive energy.

Once and for all.

#12. “Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!” by Tony Robbins

Tony RobbinsAwaken the Giant Within Summary is a motivational powerhouse. In fact, just seeing him or hearing him talk may be enough to realize that he’s all kinds of a powerhouse. And “Awaken the Giant Within” – in itself, a giant 600-page book – is probably his best-known and best-loved book.

Now, Robbins’s infomercials and seminars are so ubiquitous that, as it’s only natural, many have started growing tired of him. In fact, quite a few readers have blamed him for being unoriginal and merely borrowing other people’s ideas, before digesting them in a friendlier manner.

Blame us for populism as much as you want to, but that’s the best part about “Awaken the Giant Within.” Just think of your teachers: those who taught you most were probably those who managed to motivate you the best.

Not those who knew the most about a certain subject.

#13. “Now, Discover Your Strengths” by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton

Now, Discover Your Strengths Summary“You can be anything you want to be” – is not something you’ll hear Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton say anywhere in their books or seminars. In fact, they think that this is the worst advice anyone can give anybody.

However, the fact that you can’t be some of the things you want to be isn’t at all bad. It’s, in fact, a freeing revelation. Because, it means that you can finally start focusing on your strengths. Which you most definitely have.

As its title suggests, “Now, Discover Your Strengths” aims to help you find them. And it does this via the Internet-based StrengthsFinder Profile, based on a multimillion dollar 25-year-long study. Once you buy your book, you’ll discover your unique number to use the program.

And after going through the internet analysis and discovering your strengths, you are advised to come back to the book and find the best way to use them.

Very unique, “Now, Discover Your Strengths” is not only groundbreaking, but also an extremely useful book.

#14. “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life” by Mark Manson

Mark MansonThe Subtle Art of Not Giving a F-ck Summary is a 33-year-old blogger and the founder and CEO of Infinity Squared Media LLC. So, it’s safe to say that he’s someone the millennials will relate to very easy. But, judging by Elizabeth Gilbert’s kudos to him in “Big Magic,” it seems that his ideas and style transcend both generations and expectations.

And you can tell from the book title why we had to write that introduction. Manson is not a guy who’ll sugarcoat his words or his messages. And, albeit “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” cites academic studies as well, very early on you get the feel that this book is the best (unsubtle) proponent of the message he’s trying to relate to his readers.

Namely, that life is unfair and that no matter how much you try to make it right, it will certainly find a way to hit you with a hammer at the least convenient moment. Your job is to find a way to absorb the blow.

And not giving a damn about 99% of the things you are – is the best way to do it.

#15. “The Power of Now: An Incredible Masterpiece of Spiritual Enlightenment” by Eckhart Tolle

The Power of Now SummaryAnd now – for something completely different.

After the profane humor and the blasphemous “to-hell-with-positivity-it’s-actually-your-fault” messages of “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck,” we move on to a mindfulness classic, Eckhart Tolle’s guide to spiritual enlightenment, “The Power of Now.”

Translated into more than 30 languages and recommended by Oprah Winfrey on numerous occasions, “The Power of Now” is one of the best manuals you’ll ever find on how to conquer your ego and let go of your worries.

A mixture of Buddhism, mysticism and New Age, “The Power of Now” suggests that about nine tenths of your anxieties come not from things which are happening, but of things which have happened or might happen.

And this is something you can – and should – change. Because, living in the now doesn’t merely mean brushing off emotional worries from the past; it also means living a much happier and more fulfilled life.

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Top Inspiring Books

Unfortunately, we’ve all been there. 

Suddenly, something happens, and out of nowhere, our perfect little lives start to crumble. Or – maybe, even worse – even though the thing that happens isn’t too earthshattering at first glance, it opens up our eyes to the unfulfilled life we’ve led up to that moment.

And at moments like that, we need some inspiration. To take back things from our loss or reimagine ourselves in more happier versions of us.

Here are 15 of the best inspirational books which can certainly work as your guides on your personal journey to fulfillment. Embark on it as soon as possible.

And stay inspired.

#1. “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist Summary“The Alchemist” was published in 1988. Three decades later, it’s still widely read and widely beloved.

An international bestseller, the book has been translated into almost half of the world languages, and it has made Brazilian author Paulo Coelho a global superstar.

A profound and poignant narrative, “The Alchemist” is an inspiring novella which tells the story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy. Santiago believes that he has dreamt a dream of significance; a dream which should help him find a big treasure somewhere around the Egyptian pyramids.

And, indeed, the dream turns out to be prophetic. But not in the way Santiago expects it to be. Nor in the way, you, the spellbound reader, would be able to anticipate at the beginning.

Let’s just say, for the time being, that the greatest treasures, though immaterial, are much weightier than all the gold and money in the world.

#2. “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch

The Last Lecture SummaryIn September 2007, Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was invited to take participation in “The Last Lecture” series of talks. Little did the organizers know that, in the case of Pausch, the series’ title was not merely a metaphor.

Namely, just one month before that, Pausch was given a terminal diagnosis. And he knew that he had no more than half a year left on this planet.

Now, you’d expect a beautiful and touching lecture from such a person. But, you wouldn’t expect an optimistic, upbeat one-hour talk labeled “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams,” and viewed by 20 million people on YouTube.

“The Last Lecture” is the book version of this talk. It’s longer and even more fascinating. So much so, in fact, that it has become part of many school curricula.

And for many good reasons.

#3. “Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!” by Tony Robbins

Tony RobbinsAwaken the Giant Within Summary is a name which has grown to be synonymous with “motivational speaker.” Watch any of his videos on YouTube, and you’ll see why! Sometimes, one wonders if he’s right in what he’s saying or is he merely so convincing that the things come true afterward.

Either way, he does his job well enough that many people see him as something of a personal guru and guide. And with religious devotion, might we add.

“Awaken the Giant Within” is an enormous book, both in terms of its influence and in terms of its sheer length. It’s almost 600 pages – so there’s a lot to take away from it!

If it was a novel, the subtitle would have been a spoiler. Because, “Awaken the Giant Within” is a step-by-step program of self-mastery, aiming to teach you the whys, and the hows of your life.

And, of course, the how-tos of making it better.

#4. “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” by Richard Bach

Jonathan Livingston Seagull Summary“Jonathan Livingston Seagull” was published in 1970 to rave reviews from the general public. Just like its main character, the book quickly soared to the top of “The New York Times Bestseller” list, and it remained there for the next 38 weeks.

And even half a century later, it is still lovingly cherished and highly ranked.

Originally a three-part novella (Richard Bach added a fourth part in the 2013 edition), “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” tells the story of the seagull from the title. A non-conformist, he ignores his daily duties and passionately tries to learn to fly. As a result, he is banished from his community, but he is unwavering in his determination to be the best flier there ever was.

Soon, the tables turn, and Jonathan Livingston Seagull learns that he was “a one-in-a-million bird” from the very beginning.

You may be too. And this book may show you why.

#5. “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne

The Secret SummaryWhen Rhonda Byrne’s father died in 2004, depression took over her life. She wasn’t able to do her job as an executive producer for Australian television the same way as before. She wasn’t even capable of functioning properly in her day to day activities. Her life, as she says, collapsed around her.

And that’s when she started reading. Soon enough, she discovered “The Secret.”

Even though the reception of the book may suggest some groundbreaking findings, Rhonda Byrne claims that she, in fact, isn’t saying anything new. She’s merely demonstrating how the secret is something every great person from history knew and employed in his or her life. Plato, Shakespeare, Newton, Beethoven, Edison, Einstein – practically anyone you can think of!

Of course, Rhonda Byrne doesn’t stop there. She makes the secret much simpler and explains how you can use it, whether you want to earn more money, be in a better relationship or live a healthier life.

You want to learn the secret? Read the book!

#6. “Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life’s Great Lessons” by Mitch Albom

Tuesdays with Morrie SummaryIn 1995, Mitch Albom was a popular sports columnist for the “Detroit Free Press,” when a friend of his told him about Morrie Schwartz’s then-recent interview on ABC News’ “Nightline.” He watched the interview. And he was devastated.

You see, Morrie Schwartz, a sociology professor at Brandeis University, was Albom’s most beloved college teacher. Unfortunately, Albom stopped keeping in touch about a decade and a half before the TV interview. And what did he learn from it?

That Schwartz was suffering from ALS, a terminal disease, the one Stephen Hawking is suffering as well. So, he decided to reconnect with his old teacher. And, soon enough, he started visiting him every Tuesday, for discussions about life and death.

You know – for the last lectures.

Word of mouth made “Tuesdays with Morrie” – published after Schwartz’s death – a global phenomenon. It became one of the top selling memoirs ever and was translated into 45 languages.

And, finally, Oprah Winfrey produced a movie which won four Emmys in 1999!

#7. “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars SummaryThere’s something about near-death experiences that makes life worth living. And there’s something about other people’s stories concerning the lessons they took out from it that can inspire us to live better and more fulfilled lives.

And John Green, unfortunately, heard many of them. In fact, that’s what inspired him to become an author. He originally wanted to become a priest, but while working in a hospital with children suffering from life-threatening diseases, he decided that there’s another way he wanted to reach people.

And that’s what his beloved sixth novel, “The Fault in Our Stars,” did – both as a book and, later, as an award-winning film. The story is about two teenagers afflicted with terminal diseases, meeting and falling in love while attending a support group.

But, it’s also so much more! It’s a book about triumphing over the pain and the suffering, a tear-jerker about courage and the ultimate heartbreaks. Utterly beautiful.

#8. “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The Little Prince SummaryIf you thought it’s astonishing that the first book on our list has been so far translated into half of the world languages, you’ll probably never believe us if we told you that this little classic is translated in practically all of them!

Selling about 2 million copies each year, “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is probably the 4th best-selling book ever written. And it was voted the best 20th-century book in the French language!

A poetic novella, “The Little Prince,” is a children’s book about adults. It tells the story of a pilot stranded in the desert who meet the eponymous prince, a visitor from a tiny asteroid. And through him, he learns of the absurdities of our ways.

And how beautiful life can be even if its whole point is cultivating a rare rose.

#9. “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson

Who Moved My Cheese SummaryNowadays, it’s quite difficult to understand the impact “Who Moved My Cheese” – a 32-page scantily illustrated motivational fable – had on the business world when it first appeared two decades ago.

Spending almost a year on “Publishers Weekly’s” bestseller list, it managed to sell almost 30 million copies worldwide, and earn numerous accolades, before being turned into a cartoon and becoming the subject of many parodies.

It tells the story of four characters, two mice (Sniff and Scurry) and two little people (Hem and Haw). They all live in a maze and are in a constant pursuit for cheese. However, they have a different way of finding it, and, moreover, keeping it once they do locate it.

Halfway down the story, the reader realizes that the mice will be fine. And that it’s the people who have to be a bit more organized and less afraid.

And that’s where “the writings on the wall” come in handy.

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#10. “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran

The Prophet SummaryOne of the most beloved modern poets, Kahlil Gibran, was born in Bsharri, then the Ottoman Empire, modern-day Lebanon. His family emigrated to the United States when he was young. It was there that he started learning art and literature. And it was there that he became the originator of the inspirational fiction genre.

Written in English, “The Prophet,” a small volume consisting of 26 prose poems, was originally published in 1923 and has never been out of print. Its style and philosophical depth have made it a perennial favorite and a popular gift.

The frame narrative of “The Prophet” is fairly simple. Almustafa, the prophet from the title, is stopped by a group of people before boarding a ship which should carry him home. The people ask him questions, and Almustafa’s answers are the 26 prose poems we mentioned.

The topics covered are as many, and range from love and marriage to freedom and time, to religion and death. And you’ll know more about each of them.

#11. “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams & Reaching Your Destiny” by Robin Sharma

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari SummaryJust like many of the motivational writers you’ve grown to love, Robin Sharma worked an ordinary job (a litigation lawyer), before deciding that he’s much more interested in techniques for self-perfection.

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” isn’t his first book (it’s his second), but it is the one which retells his personal story in a most inspiring manner. The book is a motivational business fable and is basically a conversation between two friends, Julian and John.

The former (a fictional version of Sharma himself) was a successful trial lawyer, before experiencing a heart attack while arguing his case in court. Fortunately, as he explains, this heart attack would turn out to be one of the best things that could have happened to him.

Because it would initiate a spiritual journey that would enable him to finally live a life of passion and purpose.

#12. “The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom” by Don Miguel Ruiz

The Four Agreements SummaryIn Don Miguel Ruiz, we have once again a man utterly transformed by a near-death experience. And once again, a writer whose lessons will subsequently transform you because of it.

Already a successful surgeon, Ruiz decided to become a shaman’s apprentice after barely surviving a serious car accident. Afterward, he spent few years exploring the Toltec wisdom and mind-elevating techniques.

His debut book, “The Four Agreements” is the best introduction to what he ultimately learned.

Advocating absolute freedom and living-in-the-moment mentality, “The Four Agreements” explores a fourfold code: “be impeccable with your word,” “don’t take anything personally,” “don’t make assumptions,” and “always do your best.”

A decade later, Ruiz will team up with his son to add a 5th agreement: “be skeptical, but learn to listen.” And that’s another fairly inspirational book.

#13. “The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are” by Brené Brown

The Gifts of Imperfection SummaryA research professor at the University of Houston, Brené Brown made a name for herself when in June 2010 she gave a talk at TED Houston, titled “The Power of Vulnerability.” Still one of the most viewed TED talks in history, it would form the basis of her next book, “Daring Greatly,” already featured in our top 15 self-help book list.

And, really, both there and here, we could have included almost any of Brown’s eight books, and we wouldn’t have made a mistake. They are all inspirational, down-to-earth, caring, and hopeful.

“The Gifts of Imperfection” maybe most of all. Featuring ten guideposts to tackle the pressure each of one faces on a daily basis, the book aims to help everybody by teaching him or her that he/she doesn’t need to be anything else than he/she already is – just to please people.

Because with courage, compassion, and connection – he/she can be happy in the face of every obstacle.

#14. “Eat Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert

Eat Pray Love SummaryWe’ve already written about Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Big Magic.” However, here we’ve opted for her debut memoir, “Eat Pray Love;” not because of its status, but much more because of the way it has affected many people we know.

And because, well, not many books have been featured on two episodes of “The Oprah Winfrey Show”!

An autobiographical account, “Eat Pray Love” follows the eye-opening spiritual odyssey of a 31-year-old Elizabeth Gilbert. Trapped in an unhappy marriage, she decides to embark on a year-long journey around the world to gain some perspective.

And she gets – in three chapters! First, she eats and enjoys life in Italy for a period of four months; then, she spends three months praying in India; finally, she falls in love with a Brazilian businessman in Bali.

The book has it all. And you can also watch its 2010 movie adaptation. It received lukewarm reviews, but, then again, Julia Roberts is in it!

#15. “Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy” by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant

Option B SummaryTwo weeks after her beloved husband, David Goldberg, suddenly died, Sheryl Sandberg faced the unbearable task of having to prepare her child for a father/child activity. “I want Dave,” she cried. Her friend Adam Grant, a psychologist at Wharton, replied with some very wise words: “Option A is not available.”

The only thing Sheryl Sandberg – Facebook’s COO and the author of “Lean In,” a book we’ve featured in our top leadership books list – was left with was trying to make the best out of Option B: living without her husband.

And that certainly wasn’t an easy task. She was, as she writes herself, in a void, “a vast emptiness that fills your heart and lungs and restricts your ability to think or even breathe.”

And “Option B” is a book about everyone who feels that he’s not really living the life he’s supposed to be. Especially, if due to some life-shattering loss.

It’s a sort of “manual for resilience.” And it may just help you regain some joy and faith.

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